Regulatory Scrutiny of Crypto Exchange “Binance” May Cause it to Leave the U.S.

State and federal regulators are opposing a billion-dollar deal between the cryptocurrency exchange Binance.US and the bankrupt cryptocurrency lender Voyager. The regulatory intervention is part of an ongoing struggle between Binance, the ultra-dominant cryptocurrency exchange, and U.S. regulators. Tensions between the two appear to be nearing a boiling point. The dispute also highlights an American regulatory environment that is increasingly hostile toward the cryptocurrency industry writ large, particularly in the wake of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapse.  

Regulatory Ecosystem Post-FTX (SBF) Disaster

From “How are institutions and companies investing in crypto” and “Sequoia Capital launches $500 million fund to invest in crypto” to “FTX files for bankruptcy” and “Sequoia Capital marks down its $210 million crypto investments to $0” – the crypto market capitalization skydived from $3 trillion in November 2021 to $881 billion, experiencing a 71% freefall in just one year.

Major household names such as FTX, BlockFi, Celsius, Genesis, TerraLuna, Three Arrows Capital, and Voyager all evaporated within days after public recognition of corporate issues including capitalization and intra-firm lending. Last summer’s TerraLuna and Voyager bankruptcies foreshadowed the debacle to come. However, enthusiasts remained naively optimistic until the shockwave of FTX’s evaporation led to the collapse of an entire market. Investors rushed to withdraw their investments only to see their accounts already frozen or funds already missing. Before it is too late, either the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), or the agencies jointly together, should take action on this volatile decentralized market.